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Brunei's First Bookswap

Last week, a tweet kept reappearing on my timeline. It went along the lines of "Calling all book lovers! Join us this Sunday for Brunei's First Bookswap event!". It happened all through the week. I have been on Twitter long enough to know that when people like @teah, @bluefenix, @possiblyzebra, @emmagoodegg and @kden get excited about a common event, it is worth taking note of. So I marked it in my diary - "Sunday 27th November 2011, 3.00pm - check out Bookswap event at Muara Beach". I got to the beach, looked around for a sign, and there it was, literally tied to a couple of trees.


I was greeted by a number of familiar faces and immediately noticed the growing columns of books on the benches of the beach hut. While I was there, there was a steady stream of visitors who came with books in hand, looking ready for trade. The organisers had a system going. When you got there, there was a form to fill asking for your contact details, information about your books and your preferences for the left-over books. There was also a feedback form, some light refreshments and even a token ukelele guy! (shout out to my mate Jay) I spoke with Zirah, the founder of Brunei Bookswap, and as usual, she was all smiles. She shared about their Facebook Group and said that they were glad for the support from the public. I also spoke another member Erika, the actual creator of the bookswap event who managed many aspects of the event. I was advised that the Brunei Bookswap members supported her and were a big help with publicity, and of course, coming to the event. Erika was full of energy and shared about her interest in eventually setting up a bookshop of her own.










Eventually I had to go but I went away thinking about how I loved the "give it a go" spirit of the group. I have just been accepted in the Brunei Bookswap Facebook Group and I am looking forward to getting to know the bunch. I am also looking forward to the next one. Maybe then I won't forget to bring a few books to swap. (Yea, I know right?!)

Well done gang!

Here's an excerpt by Anwar Haji Rosly from The Brunei Times:

"The meet gained significant success in bringing book lovers together under one roof and introducing the unique method of swapping books instead of throwing it away.

Hazirah Marzuke, founder of Brunei Bookswap explained that the inaugural meet was intended to connect book enthusiasts so they can share and discuss about their books.

This, she believes will "create a special bond, a friendship based on mutual interest".

As the name of the group suggests, the rule is to bring in any amount of books to be swapped and in return the person can check out the same number of books that he or she had checked in.

Attending the meeting in search of fiction books, Ak Mohamed Nazmi Pg Hj Sabtu stated his joy at the number of people who came down to the Bookswap meet to exchange books and noted that there were literally hundreds of books to choose from which was beyond his expectations.

For book lover Teah Abdullah, she applauded the Bookswap activity as a good initiative and said that it was a chance to find books that are not usually found in bookstores around Brunei.

At the end of the day, the Bookswap group had collected and swapped over 250 books quite a feat for a first time meet."

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